Last week during one of our daily exercise slots as we were returning to the house we got into a conversation with a neighbour, all suitably socially distanced and everything, in the course of which she said that her daughter was preparing at home for the transfer tests or AQE’s as they’re known, the “Quallie” in my day... a dozen years or so ago, ahemm!
The subject was aired on Radio Ulster this morning and apparently the application process has been delayed due to, you guessed, the Coronavirus crisis. As I sat there with nothing else to do at that particular moment I began to think how lives can be shaped, not so much by one event though that’s possible, but by our response to it, or even the response of others around us. In the end however important this or any other set of exams may be we should never interpret them as crucial to our future or the future of our children. Exams can be retaken, another path may open up, a different career beckon and people who are motivated will find their place.
We can’t make people the same; we’re all too complex and individual to fit into the same mould but equality of opportunity is a goal for which we ought to aim. Along with that if this virus has taught us one thing, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, it’s taught us that some occupations we considered to be low grade in January have proved to be crucial for the community as a whole.
The side of our nature that is often overlooked of course is the spiritual. People are not simple physical beings but spiritual and physical, though I recognise that some don’t accept that. There you go! And just as a wee aside I discovered this morning in looking at an on-line bible concordance that in the three occasions listed where body and soul come together in the one phrase the soul always comes first making it soul and body. I wonder does it reveal what we consider most important and what God judges important. I digress!
Spiritually we need to remember that we have all failed to make the grade, not one has made a success of living in their own power in a way that pleases God, not since the Eden affair anyway. You know what’s coming next, a bible verse.... “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23, a truth indeed but it is what comes next that we don’t always hear which brings hope.
We have a champion who has made the grade who is totally righteous and who when we come to him in faith out of his goodness gives us his righteousness. Our grade made perfect by him. So let’s hear the whole statement not just the bad news. “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness,”
Let no-one say God is unfair this is what equality of opportunity looks like. You only have to ask in faith. That’s our good news story!
Loving heavenly Father I thank you today for the grace that has been shown to me, for the fact that I am justified or set in a right relationship with you by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I didn’t deserve this but I praise you for your love, for the compassion that you have shown to me and not only me but to the whole human race. Holy Spirit draw many people to faith in Jesus so that they too may have peace with God. AMEN
My worth is not in what I own (Fernando Ortega and Kristyn Getty)